I have to love America. In my county to the north, I work in St. Louis County, the county election is happening this coming Tuesday and we have two issues on the ballot. Although I cannot vote in either election (I live immediately across the border in Jefferson County, to the south of St. Louis County), both will have implications to me as a citizen who works in St. Louis County and visits on a regular basis.
One is Proposition N which is our first attempt to put a public smoking ban in place. There are exemptions for Private Residences, Casinos, designate Smoking rooms and the like. However, you would think that the smoking police are going to bash down their door and seize their cigarettes. I do not go to bowling alleys because the smoke is intolerable. Likewise I do not go to many public places because the smoking is unhealthful. If this passes, the City of St. Louis (which is administered separately from the County) will likewise pass a smoking ban. Thus at least a part of the state of Misery will be smoke free, albeit with qualifications. I hope this passes but since there is strong opposition to it I seriously doubt it will pass since only 40% of the voters are expected to vote in this election. Thus is the election in America where 40% decide that I can't go to restaurants and so forth because the cigarette smoke is so intolerable I refuse to go out in many public places.
The other issue is Proposition E 911 which will provide funds to install an Enhanced 911 system to allow emergency services to locate cell phones which call emergency services. Why anyone would oppose a miniscule (one tenth of a Cent) sales tax to fund our EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS is beyond me. When I toured our Emergency Operations center in the course of my Ham Radio class, the center functions on hand-me-down computers which were formerly at the police academy, receives everything on a hand-me-down basis with the exception of a mobile command center which was purchased second hand from a California municipality. The opposition to this is also prevelant as apparently paying a one tenth cent tax would bring down the capitalist system in this country.
I find these attitudes appalling. When we need such services they will not be there or if they are there are functioning at a degraded capability and will not be state of the art. I would hope that we do get items of gear that are top of the line and state of the art. However, some in my county would like to live in the dark ages and when calling for emergency services would hope that they know where they are based on vague directions whenever they call in their cell phones.
Thus is the electorate in America.
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